When is the right time to upgrade to a dedicated turkey hunting shotgun, and should you? Much of what dedicated turkey guns offer is ergonomic in nature, they provide little functional advantage. However, they do you give you one very important benefit that may be worth the price alone.
Here is a link to the Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey Shotgun and Holosun 507k Review I mentioned in the episode.
Turkey hunting typically involves a single shot, which means any shotgun with the proper choke can provide optimal performance. So upgrading to a pump action shotgun or a semi-automatic shotgun does not give you much of an advantage. Adding camouflage to the gun provides only a slight benefit, and while a shorter barrel may be helpful, you can always buy a shorter barrel for your current shotgun.
The biggest reason you may want to upgrade to a dedicated turkey gun is the benefit of optics. A good red dot or low power scope can provide you with a massive benefit that regular shotgun sights do not provide. They enable you to hit your target even if your shooting form is compromised due to sitting on the ground in an awkward position.
I believe that most turkeys which are missed, are missed because the hunter did not mount their shotgun properly due to the rigors associated with hunting from the ground and shooting from an awkward sitting position. They had their front bead on the turkey, but their eye was far enough at an angle that their pattern missed the turkey or only scored a marginal hit. They then blame the gun, the choke, the ammo, and everything else except the real cause, they shouldered the shotgun in an awkward position.
A good optic can give you a fixed aiming aid that can help you hit the target even if you are somewhat out of alignment. If you miss alot of turkeys, they can be a game changer for you. In truth a good hunter with proper form does not gain much from adding an optic but turkey hunting often compromises our shooting form. Here my full article that goes deeper into this subject: How To Fit A Shotgun To You – Length of Pull, Comb Height, & Cast
If your turkey hunting shotgun setup works good for you and you are consistently hitting turkeys then there is no reason to consider a dedicated turkey hunting shotgun. But if a gun that is better tailored to this pursuit appeals to you, and adding an optic may be helpful, then this could be a good purchase decision.
Also keep in mind that if you only use the shotgun for turkey hunting, you can sight it in for your favorite turkey load once and save money vs. having to do it every season when you put an optic back onto an all purchase shotgun. And if you are shooting TSS, that can save you alot of money every year.
Listen to the podcast episode to hear it all!